Chelsea - Liverpool Preview: The Normal One looking to seal Special One's fate
(Picture: Jonny Walsh/VAVEL UK)

Liverpool FC could put the final nail in Jose Mourinho's coffin when they take on an underfire Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in Saturday's lunch-time kick-off. 

The Reds, fresh from their first victory under Jürgen Klopp in the Capital One Cup in mid-week, go in search of their first win in four league games against the reigning Barclays Premier League champions, who sit 15th having lost five of their 10 games so far this season.

The 'Special One' versus the 'Normal One' is how the fixture has been popularly dubbed by media outlets the world over, after Klopp hailed himself as the latter in his press unveiling as the new Reds boss earlier this month.

Three-time Premier League title winner Mourinho, who labelled himself as special when he first arrived at Chelsea in 2004, is under growing scrutiny for his side's poor form - with the Londoners having lost twice more already this term, then they did throughout the entirety of last season.

On Merseyside meanwhile, the wave of positivity that coincided with Klopp's appointment has since faded with the problems that face the German all too clear. But supporters will hope that their first victory under him will help them to build some much-needed confidence and momentum as they look to bridge the six-point gap between them and the top-four.

They also have the added incentive of potentially pushing Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich into the difficult, and expensive, decision to sack Mourinho - whose future supposedly hangs in the balance ahead of the highly-anticipated showdown - after he left by mutual consent after his first spell in charge in 2007.

Both on and off the pitch, things have gone badly wrong for the Portuguese boss this term, who was sent to the stands in their loss to West Ham United last time out and is facing misconduct charges as a result of approaching the referee at half-time.

A man on the brink, Mourinho - who still has four years left on his contract - knows that he needs a major turn-around to restore his reputation but having been responsible for some of the darker days in Liverpool's recent history, including the loss which derailed their title charge in 2013-14, the Reds will be desperate to exact some revenge.

The game also serves as an excellent opportunity for Klopp's side to demonstrate their credentials, having failed to reflect their dominance in possession on the scoresheet in the four games under him thus far.

It has been a frustrating few matches nonetheless, even if there have been encouragements and positives to take away, particularly given the growing injury list which has restricted the options available to him.

After an unsavoury run of draws in the league, Klopp will be desperate to finally announce himself on one of the biggest stages of all, and a win bringing an end to Mourinho's reign would do all that and more. 

Team news:

Liverpool are sweating on the fitness of striker Christian Benteke, who should be available despite picking up a knee problem.

The Belgian missed Klopp's first victory on Wednesday night after sustaining the problem in their draw with Southampton at the weekend.

But despite fears that Benteke had picked up a severe knee ligament injury, the German boss insisted that they hope to have him available with the knock less serious than first feared.

Klopp made nine changes in mid-week but should return to a more familiar starting line-up, with Nathaniel Clyne expected to keep his place and Divock Origi expected to drop to the bench if Benteke returns. Roberto Firmino is also likely to maintain his spot after a Man of the Match performance.

Striker Daniel Sturridge remains unavailable with a troublesome knee injury and has not yet returned to training after scans revealed fluid surrounding the area.

James Milner returns after serving a one-match suspension, missing their cup win over Bournemouth, but Kolo Touré is unlikely to be involved after picking up a hamstring problem against the Cherries. 

Captain Jordan Henderson (foot), Jon Flanagan (knee), Joe Gomez (knee), Danny Ings (knee) and Jordan Rossiter (hamstring) remain out.

Mourinho also faces some selection headaches, with Diego Costa fighting to be fit after suffering a rib injury in their penalty shoot-out loss at Stoke City in the League Cup.

With the Spanish striker absent, Loïc Rémy could lead the line - whilst Branislav Ivanovic (hamstring), Pedro (knock) and Thibaut Courtois (knee) are all out.

Defensive midfielder Nemanja Matić returns after serving a one-game ban.


Total: Liverpool - 68 wins, Draws - 37, Chelsea - 55 wins.

At Stamford Bridge: Chelsea - 43 wins, Draws - 19, Liverpool - 19 wins.

At Anfield: Liverpool - 49 wins, Draws - 18, Chelsea - 12 wins. 

Most recent meeting: Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool, 10 May 2015, Barclays Premier League.

Recent form:


Form in Premier League: WDLWL
Form in all competitions: LWDLD


Form in Premier League: DWDDD
Form in all competitions: DDDDW

Match facts:

Liverpool have failed to win in any of their least eight games in all competitions against Chelsea, losing four and drawing four. 

The Merseyside club have lost only one of their last five away games at Chelsea, drawing two and winning two. 

The Reds beat Chelsea three times at Stamford Bridge in 2011 but are yet to win there since then. 

More generally, Liverpool are without a win in London in their last five visits - drawing three times and losing twice.

No more than three goals have been scored between Liverpool and Chelsea in their last three meetings in all competitions.

Liverpool's five-game unbeaten streak in the league is their longest spell without defeat since March, where a 13-match run was brought to an end.

They have however drawn their last three consecutive games, having not drawn four on the spin since December 2007 to January 2008.

The Reds have come away with the three points from only one of their last 10 Premier League away games (D5, L4) - the last win coming against Stoke City on the opening weekend of the current campaign.

Christian Benteke has scored 14 headers in the English top-flight since August 2012, the best tally in the division alongside Olivier Giroud, after he scored with his head against Southampton last time out.

Jürgen Klopp has only lost one meeting out of four against Joe Mourinho, all of which came in the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League. Klopp's Borussia Dortmund overcame Mourinho's Real Madrid 4-3 to reach the final, having won the first leg 4-1 in Germany.

Klopp's Liverpool side take on a Chelsea side who have won just one of their last seven games in cup and league games, conceding 19 goals in the Premier League - which is only worse that Norwich City, Bournemouth and Newcastle United.

Chelsea's 11 points from their opening 10 games is their worst start in the Premier League era and joint-worst record of a defending champion - equalling Blackburn Rovers in 1995-96.

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last six Barclays Premier League meetings with Liverpool, winning three and drawing three.

Man in the middle:

Mark Clattenburg - who took last weekend's Manchester Derby - is the match official against the Blues on Saturday, having had a sour history against them in previous years.

After the 40-year-old, from County Durham, showed two red cards in a 2-0 loss to Manchester United in 2012 - Clattenburg was alleged to have racially abused midfielder John Obi Mikel, though the allegations were never proven as he spent nearly a month out of the game.

The experienced referee has previously overseen 18 games involving Liverpool - dishing out 28 yellow cards and one straight red card, with the Reds having not lost since September 2011 with him as the official.

They've won seven of the nine fixtures with Clattenburg since then, but have only ever lost two games with him in charge, with the referee expected to come under scrutiny.